U.S.-European Union organic trade deal takes effect
An organic certification equivalency agreement between the U.S. and the European Union has now come into effect, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan signed the partnership in February, along with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui.
"This partnership will open new markets for American farmers and ranchers, create more opportunities for small businesses, and result in good jobs for Americans who grow, package, ship, and market organic products," said Merrigan.
"In the months ahead, USDA will continue to work hard to expand opportunities for all U.S. products, including organics. Equivalency arrangements such as this are critical to growing the U.S. organics industry - they require careful negotiation to ensure that we maintain existing U.S. trade policies while ensuring that U.S. agricultural products will compete on a level playing field in world markets."
The United States signed a similar partnership with Canada in July 2009, and additional equivalency arrangement conversations have begun with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
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